Morocco: Texture

 

I finally made it to Morocco!  I will do a more detailed post soon, but here is a little sneak peek.  As a country, it is very difficult to sum up– one of the things that left the strongest impression on me was the infinite variety of texture.  There are tiles, stucco, studs, wovens, colored powders, animal skins, ceramics, wood, and cut tin everywhere you look.  And for every color and texture, there is a distinct smell: nutty argan, spices, fish markets, raw meat, exhaust from motos in the market… Prepare to be overwhelmed.

I loved Morocco, but I must admit at the end of particularly grueling days shooting in the deserts and markets, I was always completely relieved to enter the inner sanctuary of my Riad.  Inside it was quiet and the tiles were cool from the shade of the high walls, and all I could hear were the birds and a very distant call to prayer.

More soon…

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Snapshot: The Texas Hill Country

I just got back from some family time in my home state of Texas and had the pleasure of relaxing a couple hours west of Austin in the hill country.  The only way to deal with the heat in the summertime is to find a cool watering hole and stay really close to it (below you can see a pic of my mom drinking champagne in her inner tube on a particularly pristine section of the Guadalupe River– that’s how we do y’all).

I stopped off in Austin on the way and found the treasures below.  You don’t need to wear much as it’s about 150 degrees and pretty casual, but I like to dress up cut-offs and a t-shirt with some stylish accessories.

The last pic is of my favorite small town honky tonk (country music dance hall). On Saturday nights, the cowboys come in off the ranches clean shaven, jeans starched, and ready to twirl their ladies around the floor.  The beers are ice-cold, the music is live, and it’s pretty much as fun as hell.  A far cry from my apartment in Brooklyn, indeed.

Vintage leather clutch and Star Vintage Levi’s cut-offs from Feathers, coin jewelry from JM Drygoods, and tribal cuff from Spartan (all in Austin, Texas).

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Snapshot: Big Sur, California

 

These are a couple pics from a work trip I did to Big Sur a couple weeks ago.  To me, this is one of, if not the, most beautiful places in the U.S.  It’s dramatic landscape makes you feel like you are literally at the end of the world.  It’s a perfect mix of misty rocky cliffs, redwoods and succulents on steroids, and the mighty Pacific as far as you can see.

It was a perfect trip to get some fresh air and trade in NY’s hustle and bustle for quiet nights around the fireplace with a local Pinot.  AND I saw some whales migrating up the coast! Magic!

If you are headed there, definitely hit up Deetjan’s for a cozy, hearty meal by candlelight and the Big Sur Bakery for some gourmet grub after hiking in the hills all day!

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Paris mini-guide

top image from the Helmut Newton exhibit at the Grand Palais

I could not possibly tackle a full Paris city guide, so I am going to give a little taste of some of my favorite things I saw while I was in the City of Lights for work last month!  I was there for a quick week of unusually sunny weather– it’s true, Paris in the springtime is something special– all the cool kids were out on their bikes, looking tres chic in a wonderfully understated way.  Skinny jeans, a leather jacket, and sexy ankle boots– a lot of the girls were make-up free with perfectly disheveled locks.  It’s true that French women have a certain, how do you say it? Je ne c’est quoi…

I say bring a little and return with a lot! Shopping wise, there are so many good spots to check out, get lost in the city, be inspired! There is great vintage too! I was tempted by so many delicious vintage furs– short ones, long ones, caramel cuties, and rainbow ones (if you are into that sort of thing), leather shorts, boots, great summer dresses– big time temptation.  My bank account is happy I only had one free afternoon to do some shopping cuz the Euro is strong y’all!  I stayed in Le Marais so most of the spots I visited were in that neighborhood.

And oh yeah! I went to see the Helmut Newton exhibit at the Grand Palais. I started my post with that pic because I think this show really suited Paris– sexy, iconic, a bit tough, and a lot glamorous!!

From top left clockwise: Dries Van Noten store, La Duree shop window, Goyard luggage, Goyard shop window

from top left clockwise: street art, poster detail, Alaia shop window, courtyard

my shopping highlights

My fav store that I really wish had a sister in New York was Merci. It was like a tiny, airy department store with home goods, books, a coffee shop, and a very well edited collection of new designers (clothing and accessories).  It had a super wearable and feminine vibe– great shoes and jewelry too!

I was also super smitten with Colette.  I love the ground floor– Cool tennis shoes, music, glamour gadgets (think fur headphones, mega expensive shades, crazy cool iPhone covers).  I feel like they are at the center of Parisian pop culture- there is something for all of your senses.  I got some sneaks for my guy, a couple sweet cds, a radical t-shirt with Kurt Cobain’s name hand-stitched over the heart (should have gotten the Chet Baker one too- damn!), and some funny phone accessories for our house.  More time would have yielded more booty, but alas, it was a rushed trip.  There is a street art meets fashion vibe and it’s quite fun- they definitely have their fingers on the pulse of the latest and greatest and they do a lot of collaborations with up and comers.  If you can’t make it there in person, check out their website– there is a lot of tangible inspiration there.

Another good one for home goods was SImrane. It is all hand wood-blocked cotton and silk from India.  I got some gorgeous linens for our home and a couple little gifts.

Other highlights were the Isabel Marant, Dries Van Noten, and Christophe Lemaire shops.  You can find these designers in the U.S. as well, but the stores there have a different sense of architecture and merchandise their products in a more intimate, artful way…

Food/Drink

L-R: Chez Janou and the lovely Michelle Buswell at La Perle in her beguiling black hat

Where to begin? My first night we went to a magic place called Derriere. It was a hidden spot, through a courtyard, and they had a ping pong table but the patrons all looked like they had just left a show during New York Fashion week– good lighting, good music, good people watching.  They even have an upstairs fumoir (smoking room) that you enter secretly through a wardrobe (so fun!!!). Make a reservation as they only seat at 8pm or 11pm.  Then as I was leaving, I saw Kristen Wiig and she looked really cool in a short leather jacket, and we made eye contact, so it was for sure an enchanted evening- haha!

The next night we did Robert et Louise- an un-fussy, cozy, stone joint with an open grill.  This place is definitely all about the carne, so don’t go if you are exclusively a veggie person.  BUT if you like an occasional T-Bone served on a rustic wooden cutting board dusted with sea salt, this is a good spot.  Simple hearty fare, good ambiance.

I also loved Chez Janou.  It is a typical Bistrot Provencal– warm decor and good food. Cute young clientele and fun people watching. I had a very tasty duck (recommended by our terribly stylish waitress), and at the end of our meal, they brought out the most giant bowl of chilled chocolate pudding I have ever seen– to be held with both arms!  You serve yourself from this obscenely large bowl and you feel about five years old.  It’s so fun and a satisfying end to a great meal.

I also had fun drinks a couple nights at La Perle and had a full on, all night, disco dance-athon at Le Baron. It was a Sunday and it wasn’t too crowded– all I know is there was a dance circle (you know, like in Soul Train) where everybody has a turn and everyone cheers you on– there was some breakdancing to disco and it was seriously one of the most fun, laugh-y, dance-y nights I’ve had in forever.

One last note: Look at these girls!!

Swedish girls on holiday

Aren’t they dreamy?  I saw them two different days in two different neighborhoods.  Such cutie style!  They were from Sweden on holiday with their moms and they were killing me with their looks.  They were kinda punk in a way, kinda 80s schoolgirl, kinda quirky nurses. I like.

 

 

 

 

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Snapshot: Ollantaytambo, Peru

Photo taken in Ollantaytambo

This is a sneak peek of an upcoming post on Peru– I’ve been meaning to do it for a while but I had to go on a fact finding mission and contact my peeps in Peru-  There is so much info, but I’ll try to fill you in on the must-dos if you go to Cusco.  It’s worth the trip- Peru is an incredible country full of so much color and history!  Stay tuned… xo

 

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Snapshot: Nayarit, Mexico

all images by me and my wonderful, talented guy Trevor Smith

I travel often for work, but it’s not quite the same as quality time with your dude in the jungle! No computers, no phones, no traffic… These are some images from a recent adventure down to the Pacific coast of Mexico.  We surfed every day, sea kayaked, grilled fresh seafood, and made fires on the beach with our adopted dog family. Simple pleasures, inexpensive, and perfect for a mid-winter re-charge…

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Snapshot: San Miguel de Allende

All photos from a quick trip to San Miguel de Allende last week.  Need to go back when I have more time to explore!

 

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Snapshot: Machu Picchu

How did human beings build this on top of a mountain in the jungle in the 15th century? Breathtaking!  I will talk more about my time in Peru in an upcoming post here at Wax + Cruz soon!

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Snapshot: Ibiza

This was one of my favorite beaches in Ibiza last fall.  Benniras is famous for impromptu drum circles and full moon parties.  A perfect spot to swim until the sun goes down and hang on the beach with all the bohemian families until the moon comes up…

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